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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben Milligan | 19 comments "Its onset indicated the kind of war it would be: a fundamental departure from the traditional character of the Greek way of warfare, based on the citizen-soldier fighting as a hoplite, a heavily armed infantryman in the serried block of soldiers, called a phalanx, according to fixed and well-understood rules that had governed Greek combat for more than two and one-half centuries" (The Peloponnesian War 1). Although this is just the introduction it stands out because it basically highlights in a broad sense what this book is about. Personally I'm very interested in Greek and Roman warfare so this book is very appealing to me. And this is exactly what this book encompasses. The idea that this war marked what was to be the change in Greek warfare strategies is huge because the Greeks had been unmatched in warfare for hundreds of years, and were unwilling to change. This war also changed history and affected modern day combat strategies because the Romans based their combat from the Greeks, and much of the Roman strategies have been modernized and are still used today. Also this war, some believe, marked the downfall of many Greek city states, which weakened their empire making it easier for the Romans to control them.

message 2: by Ben (new)

Ben Milligan | 19 comments Blog #2
"No defensive war plan like that proposed by Pericles had ever been attempted in Greek history...the Athenians had an army of thirteen thousand infantrymen of an age (twenty to forty-five)...and another sixteen thousand above and below the age to serve. The spartan army that invaded Attica numbered close to sixty thousand. The spartan forces outnumbered Athens' by a factor of three to one" (The Peloponnesian War 60). This is a very important part of this book because it outlines the main difference between the spartans and athenians. The main difference was that Sparta had the most superior infantry possibly in the world at that time, whereas Athens easily had the most superior naval fleet in the world. Also, the war was largely influenced by Pericles despite the fact that he died in the first three years of fighting. In fact, under Pericles, Athens was considered the first city state to ever build walls around its city, which in reality made the war last longer than it should have. The reason is because in old times the city states would rally all their men and sally forth to fight the enemy army, and then a few hours later the winning side would be decided and the "war" would be over.

message 3: by Ben (last edited Feb 21, 2014 08:20AM) (new)

Ben Milligan | 19 comments Blog #3
"The catastrophe devoured entire families across generations...the Peloponnesian War spared few greeks, regardless of wealth or family connections" (A War Like No Other 28). The reason this is so interesting is because the war itself lasted for one fourth of a century. Which is significant because that means that an entire generation was able to grow up, fight, and possibly have their own children during the course of the war. Also, it took Greece less time to route the massive persian army than it did to end the Peloponnesian War; and took Alexander only a mere third of the time to conquer the entire Persian empire. This is key because the time it took 20,000 Greeks to route one million Persians was significantly less time than it took Sparta to fight Athens. Also, the point that no family was untouched is true, because even the famous Pericles and his family was wiped out through the war. In fact, the war killed many important characters like Pericles, Hippocrates, and led to Thucydides' exile. There were many other consequences of the Peloponnesian War. Some even say that it led to the downfall of the Greek states. Also, the immediate consequences were the destruction of some major city states that had potential to rival Athens and Sparta.

message 4: by Ben (new)

Ben Milligan | 19 comments Blog #4
"Contemporary America is often now seen through the lens of Athens, both as a center of culture and as an unpredictable imperial power that can arbitrarily impose democracy on friends and enemies alike" (A War Like No Other 36). This comparison is actually shockingly close and similar. You would have never thought there could be anything significant thats similar between two nations separated by thousands of years. However, their nearly identical to one another in numerous ways. One modern historian said that America is a massive scale of what Athens was. In fact many are wondering whether America's pride will be its downfall just like Athens. This is so interesting to me because I am a huge fan of Ancient Greece, and to be able to apply that knowledge to modern times just makes it that much more interesting. Also, I think that the wars Athens fought are surprisingly similar to the wars America fights. The Peloponnesian War is extremely similar to what would happen if a country like Russia or China invaded America. Also, Athens tried to act as a police force for Ancient Greece and they were despised for it, which is near exactly what America tries to do.

message 5: by Ben (last edited Feb 21, 2014 08:22AM) (new)

Ben Milligan | 19 comments Blog #5
"I was cast originally among the Spartan helots, the serf class that the Lakedaemonians had created from the inhabitants of Messina and Helos after they, in centuries past had conquered and enslaved them" (The Gates of Fire 30). This particularly stands out to me because the helots outnumbered the Spartans in massive numbers. The helots were around 250,000 in number while the actual spartans were about 30,000 in number. This is important in relation to all of the wars in Ancient Greece because Sparta could never mobilize an army for a long without the helots rebelling. In fact, the Spartans were constantly going to war against the helot slaves. Also this is significant to both the plot and history of Sparta. The reason is because he was one of the only two people who came to Sparta that year. This is interesting because after the golden age of Athens, the population of Sparta fell more and more eventually not being able to control the helots. Also, Sparta's hardcore military society was not only to win all their wars but as a safety net in case of a helot rebellion which if properly organized could have easily destroyed Sparta. Also since the helots were largely mistreated they disgusted the Spartans and always talked of rebellion.

message 6: by Allan (new)

Allan Heuerman | 23 comments le guta

message 7: by Allan (new)

Allan Heuerman | 23 comments 2 two hunna wòrds

message 8: by Ben (new)

Ben Milligan | 19 comments Blog #6
"This I learned then: there is always fire...Things are fallen which stood upright. Things are free which should be bound, and bound which should be free. Boys have become men and men boys" (The Gates of Fire 63). This is one of the reasons why I love this book and author because of the powerful descriptions and details. Also, because he does not sugar coat things or overlook points, he tells it like it is. This also puts powerful images in your head when reading it. This was very relevant to what happened when a city was sacked because almost every time the victor would burn the most important building in the town. For example, Alexander the Great of Macedonia burned the largest library in the known world at that time, the Library at Alexandria, when he conquered Egypt. While this was extremely rash and not only hurt both his and Egypt's empire, but affected the rest of the world for years to come. When the Persians conquered Athens they burned the acropolis. When Rome got revenge on Carthage for sacking their cities they burned every city Carthage held. So the presence of fire does relate to most occasions where a city was sacked. Also, the presence of fire incites chaos and confusion within the city.

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